Wow, I thought Wednesday was supposed to be sports' slowest day of the year. Turns out it was yesterday, given the dearth of good stories to talk about today...
MARK CUB-FAN: Mark Cuban submits application to buy the Cubs. MLB would be crazy to turn him away. It's hard to imagine a sports owner -- a baseball owner, no less -- saving a sport (if MLB even needs saving), but Cuban is the guy to do it.
His combination of marketing savvy, fan-friendliness, commitment to quantitative measurement and competitive drive to field a winner would electrify baseball... and, I predict, lead the Cubs to that long-awaited World Series title.
I have to imagine that Bud and the existing MLB owners will find a way to screw this up.
UPDATE: I'm late on this, but I just watched Miss Gossip's video interview with Greg Oden, and it's fantastic. Oden really does have a likable personality, and Miss Gossip is a better interviewer than, like, 99 percent of mainstream media TV reporters out there. Worth your 7 minutes, if you haven't seen it yet. Here's the link. That's as good a way to start the day as any.
LA Galaxy to introduce David Beckham today: This will be yet another high-water mark of just how little most American sports fans care about this development.
MLB Dud: David Wells, suspended 7 games for arguing with an umpire last weekend. Can't disagree with a suspension, but seven games? Wow. That seems like a lot. They suspend guys for less for doing more. (Of course, for starting pitchers, suspensions are always a joke, given that, at most, he'll miss 2 starts.)
Who else is bummed that Julio Franco, MLB's Methuselah, was designated for assignment? What other team might want a 49-year-old pinch-hitter, even if he is freakishly still productive (given his age)? I'm hoping that someone like Billy Beane scoops him up. (h/t MLB Fanhouse).
MLB Stud: A-Rod hits HR No. 31. Jeter and Abreu hit homers, too, in a Yankees win over the D-Rays. Among the more notable second-half storylines, whether the Yankees can get off to a hot start and insert themselves into the AL Wild Card race is one of them. Because if they don't, it could be bye-bye for Joe Torre and Brian Cashman and the coup de grace that the Yankees' decade-long era of relevance is over.
File it away: David Ortiz revealed he has knee problems. They haven't required surgery (all together now: "Yet"), but that has "ominous foreshadowing" written all over it.
NBA Summer, Orlando: I have been so focused on
With Dwight Howard (who just signed an $80M contract extension) demanding double-teams down low and Rashard Lewis demanding double-teams on the wing, that frees up JJ for a lot of open jumpshots (and, perhaps, NBA redemption after a weak rookie year).
NBA Summer Rookies, Vegas: Aaron Brooks goes for 28 for the Rockets... Stuckey and Afflalo combine for 38 points for the Pistons... Mike Conley had 13 points and 7 assists in 22 efficient minutes for the Grizzlies... Spencer Hawes had 22 for the Kings... Yikes: Julian Wright had a goose-egg on 0/9 FG shooting for the Hornets... And Corey Brewer was 2/12 FG, finishing with 8 points (plus 6 rebounds) in a T'wolves loss.
Finally: You've got to give Isiah Thomas credit where it's due as a guy with a pretty freaking good track record as a drafter for the Knicks. Second-round pick Demetris Nichols (17 points last night) looks like one of the second-round steals of the draft (along with Suns' second-rounder DJ Strawberry).
The Nets will officially announce their re-signing of Vince Carter today. That rush of air you feel is the excitement leaving the bodies of Nets fans.
Tadd Fujikawa turns pro: He's only 16 (and only 5-foot-1) but that only means his marketing potential is that much greater. By the way, note the lack of outrage from the folks who bemoaned preps going straight into the NBA.
Ronny Thompson quits as
BALCO leak lawyer gets 2.5 years in prison: If the prosecutors can't actually get anyone who – y'know – actually used steroids (or perjured themselves in talking about it), they can always get the guy who leaked details about the investigation to reporters. Hardly a moral victory. (Not that I'm condoning the leak.)
So: Given how slow things are today, what does everyone have going on this weekend? Anything sports-related?